Title: "Patron Tequila"
Author: Little Red
Category: Dancing With the Stars, rpf, season 12 cast shenanigans, Hines/Kym UST
Summary: Louis has had enough. Things don't quite go as planned.
Warnings: Cracky characterization. Adverb abuse. The usual.
It's Week 7 when Louis finally snaps.
"Let me get this straight," Cheryl says, and carefully repeats, "You locked them in your trailer?"
"He's been rehearsing next to them for months," Karina points out. She's in pigtails accented with a bright green feather in her hair that she must have stolen from wardrobe – all in all, she looks a little possessed.
"The hormones coming from Studio 3 actually hurt," Louis complains dramatically.
"You won't even let me in your trailer," Lacey says with a huff.
Cheryl, who's been running a number with Lacey all day (which is tiring enough), glares at everyone in turn. Louis and Karina seem to be the ringleaders of this little hostage crisis, Kendra seems to be an innocent bystander, and Chelsea Kane is hovering at the far corner of the trailer like she's not sure she's allowed to be here. Cheryl starts waving her phone for attention – the last text from Kym just read "Sugarplum can u find Louis?" – in the hopes that someone, somewhere will start making actual sense.
"I think the group dance pushed him over the edge," Kendra says, waving at her dance partner.
Louis does, in fact, appear to be on the wrong side of the edge. "It's insufferable."
"Agreed," Cheryl concedes, because Kym has, in fact, been annoying as heck for weeks in that way she has when she, well, needs a Paso for her Doble, as it were. (Mark was the one who coined that phrase, one drunken night years ago, and he said it in a profound voice like he'd just discovered the meaning of life.) "That doesn't actually explain why you locked them in your trailer. They do have their own trailers."
"There's booze in there," Chelsea pipes up, and then goes quiet when Louis shoots her a look.
"Patron," he corrects.
Cheryl's eyes widen. She vaguely remembers a few nights when she and Kym and Louis and Karina were younger and a whole lot dumber, and she knows Kym only drinks tequila when...
Lacey laughs. She must have heard the rumors about Kym and tequila, too. "You locked them in a tin box with tequila at six p.m. on a Thursday? Is that even legal?"
Everyone looks at Kendra.
Kendra gapes back. "Why would I know that? I don't even know why I'm here! I have a husband and a baby at home."
"I'm pretty sure the legality issues would be the same on any other day, not just Thursday," Chelsea adds helpfully. She has been sneaking closer. Cheryl's not sure why she's being so conspicuously excluded, but she suspects it has something to do with Mark never being away from her for more than 10 minutes or so. This season, he's been less inclined to support things like unlawful midday kidnapping. Cheryl hasn't gotten the chance to ask him yet, but she suspects Bristol may have taught him some down-home real-American values that are, in fact, turning out to be really irritating.
"It's fine. It's legal." Karina flips a ponytail over her shoulder, looking about as official as one can look with a stolen green feathered hairpiece.
"It might be a fire hazard," Lacey points out.
Cheryl is not at all used to Lacey Schwimmer being the voice of reason in any situation, and that means this has all gone too far. She pulls out her phone to text Kym, "U ok?" No one makes a move to stop her.
She soon finds out why, when Karina holds up Kym's buzzing phone. "Took one liberty," she chirps.
"I think it's 'took the liberty,'" Chelsea offers helpfully, looking grateful that no one has shooed her outside the circle yet.
"It can be a liberty," Louis replies. "Either way."
Cheryl uses the grammatical confusion to walk up the rickety wooden stairs and knock.
"No! No!" Kendra gasps.
Louis glares at her. "I thought you didn't care about this."
Kendra crosses her arms. "I just mean that we shouldn't interrupt them." Then, perhaps to put off the illusion of caring too much about whether anybody's having sex in a trailer or not, she takes a swig of water and spits it halfway to the next trailer.
Cheryl knocks again. Still no answer. The door has been rather crudely locked shut with what looks like an empty Tab can jammed in the space the company uses to padlock these things closed for transport. Instead of an actual lock, someone punctured through the bottom of the can and secured the whole thing to the handle with a sock.
"Kym!" Cheryl calls.
Karina yelps, "You're ruining the atmosphere!"
"You would consider booze in a trailer atmosphere," Cheryl snaps, not because it's true (from all she has learned about Karina over the years, her friend might actually enjoy a good romp in a trailer, but probably only if it were ill-secured on the back of a truck and hurtling down a mountain pass).
"It's Patron!" Chelsea corrects. Louis pats her on the back.
Lacey pushes Cheryl aside and hits the door with her shoulder.
"Really?" Louis says to her. "Is this the Charlie's Angels response?"
"I'm not touching your sock," Lacey huffs back.
"For god's sake, don't be a girl," Kendra says with a sigh so epic her whole body shudders. "I'll untie the damn sock. Why are we even doing this? Let them fuck or don't!"
Louis and Karina share a haughty look. "You don't understand dancers," he tells her.
"Hey!" A woman's voice comes from the other side of the trailer. It takes Cheryl a moment to place it as Chelsea's and to wonder why she didn't notice the girl leaving when she was directly in front of her. (She has wondered through the season if Mark's even-more-ostentatious-than-usual choreography has been because Chelsea might fade on stage otherwise, but now she's wondering if the Disney kid might actually be a ninja.)
"Who is that?" Karina asks, either because she also wasn't aware of Chelsea's ninja prowess, or because she was sampling the Patron before they baited Hines and Kym into the trap.
"It's Chelsea!" comes the reply. "The window's open back here. They're gone."
Louis gasps and goes running around to the other side of the trailer. "WHAT?"
"Wasn't your text from Kym like an hour ago?" Lacey asks. "Have these goofs been standing here this whole time?"
Cheryl runs after Louis to the back of the trailer to see her friend's route of escape. Hines isn't a small guy – he really must be learning agility from the dance training to crawl out of a trailer window like that.
"They snuck out like ninjas or something," Kendra says. Cheryl glares back at her, feeling a little like her thoughts have been stolen. "Wait, is that racist?"
"Ninjas are Japanese," Chelsea says. "Hines is Korean."
Kendra rolls her eyes.
"I can draw you a map," Chelsea offers.
The geography lesson is cut short by lots of cursing, Louis in English, Karina in Russian. (At least, Cheryl assumes it's swearing. It's epic, whatever it is. Anna once bragged that the Russian language is the absolute best to insult people with, and that cursing is an art form. Cheryl has heard more than a few dramatic phrases come out of Maks' mouth, but with the current display, Karina might have him verbally outmatched.)
Lacey pulls herself up to peek through the open window. "They're definitely gone."
"Any sign that they had sex first? Kendra, go look."
Kendra glares at Louis. "I AM NOT A STRIPPER ANYMORE," she yells, louder even than Karina's curses.
Lacey has pulled herself halfway inside the window. Her skirt is short, and her underwear seems to have a pattern of bright pink shoes on it. Cheryl makes a mental note to ask her where she got it.
"I don't see your Patron," Lacey yells back over her shoulder. "I think they took it."
Cheryl laughs. "Serves you right."
Louis and Karina exchange a long look. In the early seasons, when those two choreographed so easily together (and, alternately, fought with everyone else over every last lift), Ashley used to joke that Louis and Karina communicated telepathically.
Back then, it was helpful. Now, the possibility is a little frightening.
As if to confirm it, Karina nods definitively and says, "For sure," like a whole conversation just took place.
Cheryl's almost afraid to ask. "For sure what?"
"Next time we're locking the window too," Louis says.
"I kind of doubt they'll be dumb enough to get trapped in your trailer a second time." Cheryl's not 100% sure about Kym – after all, Kym has a more trusting nature than she probably should – but she's willing to give her friend the benefit of the doubt in this case. One can only be imprisoned by a sock and a can of Tab so many times in one's life before one learns to avoid it.
Kendra rolls her eyes so hard it looks painful. "They probably took your booze and fucked in his car or something."
"You think so?" Louis asks hopefully, while Chelsea says, sounding worried:
"There's all those paps in the parking lot!"
"They could have driven somewhere first," Lacey says. "They probably even caravanned to wherever they went to keep from being tailed." Once again, Cheryl is unnerved by Lacey saying anything practical. She wonders if there's some kind of physical law that says only so many members of the cast can go batshit insane at once, and Louis and Karina have pulled them all way too far in one direction.
Lacey finishes hopping down from the window and dusts off her hands. "So, are we going to go find them?"
Then again, maybe she was only acting practical to confuse people.
"No, we're not!" Cheryl says, but she has to admit, she's kind of curious. As long as Karina has Kym's phone, she won't be getting any juicy details of their cunning escape (and post-tequila sexploits, if Kym's pattern of questionable decisions on Mexican drinks holds true).
"Are you drawing a map of Asian places?" Kendra asks.
Chelsea looks up from where she was drawing lines in the dirt with a stick. "I'm mapping out a search perimeter," she says.
Kendra glares. "Did they teach you this crap at Disney?"
"Oh, no." Chelsea shrugs. "Justin Bieber guest-starred on CSI this season."
Louis grabs Chelsea's stick and raises it above his head like he's either about to lead a historic battle charge or start randomly beating people. "Let's do this. How many places could they have gone?"
Chelsea frowns down at her unfinished map. Karina starts swearing again.
"Okay, look, I'm not really in the sexy game anymore," Kendra says, "but isn't being stalked by like twelve people to wherever you're having drunken sex in a car kind of not sexy at all?"
"Six people," Chelsea corrects. "Unless you want to invite the others?"
Kendra sighs a full-body sigh again. "Can you please shut her up?"
Karina points at the corner of the trailer like Chelsea is a misbehaving dog being sent to her crate.
Chelsea slinks off to the corner like she is, well –
Cheryl has had enough. "This is INSANE!"
Karina gives her the exact same glare. Cheryl sees why Chelsea moved off without a fight – Karina would probably have very well-behaved dogs – but Cheryl stands her ground and glares back.
Louis moves between them. "If you two fight and Maks misses it, he will never forgive you."
Cheryl turns her glare on Louis. Karina just laughs, then gasps, "That reminds me. We need to check the fabric room in the costume shop."
"Ew!" Louis reels back.
Kendra snorts and pats him on the back. "You do realize that you just tried to get Hines and Kym all over your trailer, right?"
"That is different," Louis states. "That is a humanitarian effort."
Chelsea has snuck a little closer. "It's not really a humanitarian mission. I don't think they could die from sexual tension."
Karina nods. "They could."
Chelsea looks confused. Louis waves the stick still in his hand for dramatic emphasis.
"It's not the tension that would kill them. It's me, killing Kym the next time I see her if she doesn't..." He swings the stick again, almost clocking Kendra, who nimbly ducks out of the way with a grace she really ought to try and incorporate into her next dance routine.
"She's strung like a violin," Karina explains.
"A Stradivarius," Chelsea submits.
Kendra gapes at her. "Did you read the dictionary or something?"
"I don't care about any of you," Louis announces suddenly, then rethinks. "Except Karina."
Karina smiles prettily.
"Hey!" Kendra says.
"And Kendra," Louis corrects. "I don't care about any of you except Karina and Kendra, and therefore I am going off to look for Kym whether you're coming or not."
Lacey snickers. "Whether she's coming or not."
Cheryl sees only one way to rescue this. "Why don't we forget about that and just all go get smashed?"
Everyone pauses to consider this new plan.
"It's not like we're not going to know," Chelsea points out.
Kendra looks her up and down. "You think you can tell just by looking at them?"
"No," Chelsea says reasonably, "but Louis probably can, and I'll hear him cheering."
Louis huffs. "I will settle for her and... just... anybody."
Karina sounds truly pitying when she says, "Kym can get so hung up on people."
Louis leans on the stick like a cane. "Bad enough that she's just..."
"Horny as fuck," Kendra fills in.
Louis gives her a prim look. "I was looking for something a little more cultured."
"Bad enough that," Karina repeats, "but she gets so... happy."
Cheryl sympathizes a little. Last week, it took half an hour of listening to something or other about all of Hines's favorite movies before she and Chris could even slip past Kym to escape the break room in the rehearsal building. Her starry-eyed crush was terribly endearing in week 2 – now, Cheryl's had just about enough.
"I don't see how she can adore him so much without..." Lacey trails off.
"Boinking," Kendra fills in. "What? That's not cultured enough for you people either?"
"Exactly," Lacey says. "I'd have fucked him and gotten sick of him already. I mean, I did."
Everyone yells, "WHAT!?" at once.
"God, you people! With my partner, not hers. I mean, God bless her, but she's all... romantic, or whatever."
"Well!" Cheryl claps her hands. She no longer actually cares whether Louis intends to strike off on a black ops mission to find Hines's rolling sexmobile, she just knows that she needs alcohol, and quickly, before anyone says even one more stupid thing. "Let's all go discuss Kym's personal failings over a few Scorpion bowls, shall we?"
"Is that racist?" Kendra asks.
"I don't think those are Korean either," Chelsea says. "I'd have to check, though."
Kendra frowns. "Or Japanese?"
"We should go," Lacey says, "because Cheryl looks like she's going to start burning things down with a flamethrower any minute."
Karina glares at Cheryl, like she's the one out of line. "You're her best friend," she accuses. "Don't you want her to be happy?"
Yes, of course, but not as badly as she wants a drink. Besides, Cheryl suspects Karina is baiting some kind of trap. "I'm going to go get hammered now. You're all welcome to join me."
Chelsea perks up. "Even me?"
Cheryl points to Louis and Karina. "If you can convince them not to go busting up an evening of what is probably Hines and Kym looking everywhere for her cell phone, I'll even buy your drinks."
She never does find out what Chelsea says to convince them.
The next morning, the dance troupe is far too chipper for words, Chelsea somehow ended up with Karina's feather hairpiece, and Cheryl is starting to wish she'd opted for burning down the CBS lot with a flamethrower.
Kym is alone in the break room when she enters, and Cheryl puts up a hand to forestall any conversation that might result in Kym getting between her and the coffee pot.
"I'm hungover as hell," she announces, "and I've been dancing for two hours already, so I really can't listen to anything about some new band Hines took you to hear, or what kind of tires he has on his car or his bike or his covered wagon until I have at least two cups of coffee."
Kym smiles, looking surprised but not offended – not that Cheryl particularly cares at the moment. "Okay," she agrees, then falls silent.
Silence in the break room sounds weird, though, after so many weeks of having to practically scrape Kym off the ceiling so the woman can drink her totally unnecessary coffee and remain on this plane of existence until her partner arrives for rehearsal. It's been Christmas Eve every single morning all season.
"And there better be some coffee left," Cheryl finds herself saying. "Hot."
"I made some more. I hid the hazelnut cream at the back of the fridge."
Cheryl mixes her coffee, then sits down across from Kym. Later, she'll decide that it's only because she was hungover that she got through almost a full cup and even commented on Kym's collared top before it clicked.
"Oh my God. You boinked him."
"Cheryl!" Kym squeaks, jerking her head around to see who's nearby.
It happens to be no one, but Cheryl can blame her headache on Kym through only three or four degrees of separation so she probably wouldn't feel too guilty even if the whole editorial staff of Star was camped out in the hall.
"Oh my God," she says again. "In his car?"
Kym looks at her like she's an alien. "What? No!"
Cheryl gives her a look that hopefully approximates Karina's dog-taming stare. "But you did."
Kym is trying to frown, but it's not working – a dead giveaway, in Cheryl's years of Kym experience. "Not technically," she hedges.
"Technically? Technically?" Cheryl slams her coffee cup down. "I got drunk under the table last night by a Disney princess and Miss January. I didn't keep Louis and Karina from tracking you down with bloodhounds so you could get to second base."
Kym shakes her head. "Pardon?"
"Oh, forget it." She glares down at her coffee. "I don't even like hazelnut." She drinks her hazelnut-flavored caffeine anyway. It helps, a little.
Halfway through her second cup she feels significantly more human, and realizes that maybe nonsensically blowing up at her friend for no good reason wasn't the nicest thing to do on the first morning in weeks where Kym seems content instead of... well, high strung.
"I'm happy for you," Cheryl tells her.
A girly smile washes over Kym's face before she schools it into something approximating confusion. "Nothing happened."
Kym's hands go to her collar for a second before she snatches them back down to her lap. She shrugs. "You caught me off guard."
"So did Louis, I hear."
"You heard about that?" Kym asks. "I think he locked us in his trailer. I still don't know what that was all about. Who knows why he and Karina do anything? We just made a break for it. I'm going to have to ask him what the point was."
Cheryl laughs, then regrets it when her headache roars back up. "You might want to wipe that grin off your face first, or he's going to be very proud of himself."
"Why would-?" Cheryl watches realization slide onto Kym's face, quickly followed by an embarrassed horror. "People don't – he doesn't –" She leans over the table and whispers, "Do people suspect?"
Cheryl tries not to laugh. It's Kym, and Kym in an infatuation-hazed cloud no less, so she's probably not joking. "Maybe a little," Cheryl tells her gently. "They were hoping you two would... you know? You're right. Who knows why Louis and Karina do anything?"
There's a flash of vulnerability behind the smile that still hasn't left Kym's face. "We're not... you know. Not really."
Cheryl nods. "Yes, you are." Hines has been every bit as annoying for the past few weeks, after all.
Kym leans even closer to whisper, "There's so much to figure out, you know?"
"Or," Cheryl suggests, not quite as quietly as she intends, "You could steal another bottle from Louis's trailer stash and go have sex in Hines's rental car."
Kym flaps her hands and shushes her.
"If you don't figure out however much you need to figure out before the sex, I can't even imagine what Louis's backup plan is. Or Karina's, my God."
That satisfied smirk is creeping across Kym's face again. Cheryl supposes this could get just as annoying, in the long run, but she thinks she could put up with it.
"Maybe I'll let them," Kym says. "Free liquor."
"Patron," Cheryl clarifies.
Kym drains the last of her coffee, checks behind her again, and then whispers, "Third base."
Cheryl resists the urge to squeal like the Chelsea-aged girl she was when they first met (she vaguely recalls a very drunken night on the Vegas strip where she started out explaining the American definition of the bases for Kym and Kym's work visa, and ended up making a case at the top of her lungs for sex really being America's pastime).
"So," Cheryl asks. "What kind of liquor should Louis buy to push you kids around the bases? I could drop some hints. Plus, he owes you for locking you up." She'll have to tell Kym about the Tab latch at some point – she'd get quite a charge out of it on some day when she isn't floating quite so high on endorphins.
Kym purses her lips in exaggerated thought. "I'll make a list," she says. "All top shelf."
"That's my girl!" Cheryl grins. "Now go teach your man to Tango."
Kym's face lights up so brightly that Cheryl can't help but laugh as she shoos her out of the kitchen.
She thinks that this time, maybe, Mexican liquor might have sent Kym home with the right man.